Louisiana’s Treasure Chest Casino is set to relocate to land after nearly 30 years of operating as a floating casino in suburban New Orleans. Officials for the casino broke ground Tuesday on a new site that will house a development of more than $100 million, replacing the current riverboat once the land-based property opens its doors in 2024.
The new facility, owned by Nevada-based operator Boyd Gaming, is set to include a 47,000-square-foot gambling hall and 10,000 square feet of convention space. It will also feature new restaurants, bars and a FanDuel Sportsbook. The existing riverboat casino is expected to remain open during the construction of the new property.
The new project follows a change in state law in 2018 that allowed riverboat casinos to relocate to land. Treasure Chest is set to become the third boat in Louisiana to do so, but not the last: the Isle of Capri floating casino in Lake Charles and Hollywood Casino in Baton Rouge will also move their operations landside, Associated Press reports.
Treasure Chest’s relocation project is part of what has been labeled as a larger push to revitalize Kenner’s Laketown neighborhood into a new entertainment destination, The New Orleans Advocate reported. In August, the Jefferson Parish Council set aside more than $2 million to renovate the nearby boat launch on Lake Pontchartrain.
Rendering for the upcoming Treasure Chest development
Treasure Chest’s riverboat casino first started welcoming gamblers in 1994, having generated millions of dollars in revenue for the city since then, while also serving as the primary funding source for Kenner’s long-term capital projects. As a land-based property, its gambling hall will double in size that of its water-based counterpart.
“With the new set-up we anticipate increased revenue to the residents of the city of Kenner, which will aid in capital projects,” Mayor Michael Glaser told the cited newspaper on Tuesday. “This is a wonderful day in Kenner.” Local officials were upbeat at the groundbreaking, with Kenner City Councilman Joey LaHatte calling it the “start of the revitalization of Laketown.”
“With this project, we’ll be taking the Treasure Chest to a new level, and with it, our investment in this great community,” Keith Smith, president and CEO of Boyd Gaming, said at the ceremony. Construction of the land-based casino is expected to take 12-15 months, and the property will be built on what used to be a parking lot for riverboat patrons.
Treasure Chest could potentially see some competition going forward. Last year, Las Vegas-based Atlantis Gaming announced plans for a new $450 million, 40-acre “total destination resort” in Laketown, with shops, condominiums, and possibly gambling. However, the status of that proposed development remains unclear.